Last updated
Thorgal Le Barbare.jpg
Cover of Le Barbare (2002 Lombard Editions),
art by Grzegorz Rosiński
Created by Jean Van Hamme
Grzegorz Rosiński
Publication information
Publisher Lombard Editions (French)
Cinebook Ltd (English)
Lion Comics (Tamil)
FormatsOriginal material for the series has been published as a strip in the comics anthology(s) Tintin magazine and a set of graphic novels.
Original language French
Publication date 1977  – present
Title(s)See: Collected editions
The series has been reprinted, at least in part, in Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, German, Greek, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish, and Turkish.

Thorgal is a fantasy adventure Franco-Belgian comics series by Belgian writer Jean Van Hamme and Polish graphic artist Grzegorz Rosiński. Debuting in 1977, it has incorporated elements of Norse mythology, the legend of Atlantis as well as science fiction and horror.


In 2002, it was adapted as an adventure video game, Thorgal: Curse of Atlantis , by Cryo Interactive Entertainment.


The comic first appeared in serial form in Tintin magazine in 1977, with the story La Magicienne Trahie . [1] Originally a stand-alone 30-page project, its early success encouraged turning it into a longer series. [1]

It has subsequently been published in hardcover volumes by Le Lombard from 1980 on. Translations have appeared in English, Dutch, German, Polish, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Norwegian and Greek.

Covers for all albums are drawn by Rosiński, even for the spin-off albums which sometimes are drawn by other artists. [2]

Reception and significance

Thorgal is critically acclaimed and one of the most popular French language comics, with more than 11 million Thorgal books in print. [3] There are currently three ongoing successful spin-off series, in addition to the continuation of the main Thorgal series.

It has been called the most popular series published by Le Lombard. [1]

D. Aviva Rothschild in his 1995 book Graphic Novels: A Bibliographic Guide to Book-length Comics praised the series, stating that it is "better than an American swords-and-sorcery comic" when it comes to both art and stories. Commenting on The Archers volume, Rothschild described it as "one of the finest pieces of heroic fantasy I have ever set my eyes on". [4]

The series has also been credited with popularizing the comics in Poland. [4]

Main characters

Xargos (Tanatloc)
VilniaKahaniel de ValnorOlgavaVarth (Ogotai)HayneeGandalf the Mad
ManthorKriss de ValnorThorgal AegirssonAariciaBjorn Gandalfson
Aniel de ValnorJolanLouve

Other characters

Fictional character biography

After of being lost at sea, the ship of Viking leader Leif Haraldson suddenly finds its way home, guided by a mysterious light in the fog. To the superstitious Vikings, the light is seen as a sign from the gods. Once on shore, they find a sort of capsule, which appears to be the source of the mysterious light. Leif opens the capsule and finds a newborn baby boy. He names the child Thor-gal Aegirs-son, after Thor, the Norse God of Thunder, and Aegir, the ruler of the sea, because he considers Thorgal to be a gift from the Gods. Leif takes Thorgal under his care as his adoptive son.

As Thorgal grows up, he is curious about his origins and often ostracized by his peers for not being a "real" Viking. On his sixth birthday, Leif gives him two strange artifacts taken from the capsule he was found in. One is a jewel made from "the metal that doesn't exist". The jewel brings Thorgal on his first adventure, and binds his fate forever with that of Aaricia (his future wife). When Thorgal is twelve, the other gift prompts him to visit an old wiseman, who reveals to Thorgal his origins and true identity. He tells him that he's one of the last survivors of a group of technologically advanced space-farers who came to the planet in search of new energy sources. His people have great supernatural powers like changing the molecular composition of matter with their mind; powers that Thorgal himself seems not to have. Thorgal learns about his real parents and grandfather, and the events that preceded his birth. The old man decides to erase Thorgal's memory of their encounter and the knowledge he just learned, believing that it will be better for Thorgal to grow up as a "normal" Viking boy with no supernatural powers. Thorgal, however, continues to grow up as curious and conflicted about his true identity as ever.

Soon after this event Leif Haraldson dies and Gandalf the Mad is chosen as his successor. Gandalf repeatedly tries to get rid of Thorgal, because -– as he constantly reminds everyone – Thorgal is an outsider and not of Viking blood. In reality, Gandalf feels threatened because Thorgal is Leif's heir. In the meantime, Thorgal's relationship with Aaricia, Gandalf's daughter, develops and strengthens. While her wishes do not have much influence on her father, she is able to save Thorgal from certain death (by her father's hand) through her determination and ingenuity.

The first album of the series starts some years later, when Thorgal is already an adult, and Gandalf devises a plan to kill him after realizing how deep the love his daughter has for Thorgal really is.

Collected editions

The albums consist of several story arcs and many stand-alone stories.

Jean Van Hamme (story) and Grzegorz Rosiński (art)


The 29th volume, The Sacrifice, was the final volume scripted by Jean Van Hamme. Here, Thorgal escapes the curse of Odin. He finds peace in the only home he knows: the Viking village of his adopted father, but then must make a choice.

Danish translation of the series appeared in a different order, beginning with the chronicles of Thorgal's youth. [5] The first album in the series La Magicienne Trahie is number 22 in the Danish series. [5]

In Denmark numbers 22-23 (#1-2) were first published by the publisher Interpresse under the name "Cormak", probably to capitalize upon the popular series Conan .[ citation needed ] The name was soon changed back to "Thorgal" when Carlsen Comics took over the series. [5] [6]

Yves Sente (story) and Grzegorz Rosiński (art)


Following the 29th volume, the series was written by Yves Sente. These albums initially focussed on Jolan rather than Thorgal.

Xavier Dorison (story) and Grzegorz Rosiński (art)

Yann (story) and Grzegorz Rosinski (art)

Yann (story) and Fred Vignaux (art)

Les Mondes de Thorgal - Kriss de Valnor ("The Worlds of Thorgal – Kriss of Valnor") (a spin-off)

Yves Sente (story) and Giulio De Vita (art)

Xavier Dorison and Mathieu Mariolle (story) and Roman Surzhenko (art)

Xavier Dorison and Mathieu Mariolle (story) and Fred Vignaux (art)

Spin-off Les Mondes de Thorgal - Louve (Thorgal - Louve)

Yann Le Pennetier (story) and Roman Surzhenko (art)

Spin-off Les Mondes de Thorgal - La Jeunesse de Thorgal (Thorgal - The Youth of Thorgal)

Yann Le Pennetier (story) and Roman Surzhenko (art)

Besides series

English version

Thorgal, Child of the Stars was published by Donning Company Publishers in 1986 with ISBN   0-89865-501-3.

Cinebook Ltd has begun reprinting the series [7] starting with Child of the Stars and Aaricia in 2007.
0. The Betrayed Sorceress ( ISBN   9781849184434) - Collects La Magicienne Trahie and L'Ile des Mers gelées [1 and 2])

  1. Child of the Stars ( ISBN   9781905460236) - (collects Child of the Stars and Aaricia [7 and 14])
  2. The Three Elders of Aran ( ISBN   9781905460311) - (collects The Three Elders of Aran and The Black Galley [3 and 4])
  3. Beyond the Shadows ( ISBN   9781905460458) - (collects Beyond the Shadows and The Fall of Brek Zarith [5 and 6])
  4. The Archers ( ISBN   9781905460670) - (collects Alinoë and Les Archers [8 and 9])
  5. The Land of Qa ( ISBN   9781905460809) - (collects Le Pays Qâ and Les Yeux de Tanatloc [10 and 11])
  6. City of the Lost God ( ISBN   9781849180016) - (collects La Cité du Dieu Perdu and Entre Terre et Lumière [12 and 13])
  7. The Master of the Mountains ( ISBN   9781849180238) - (contains Le Maître des Montagnes [15])
  8. Wolf Cub ( ISBN   9781849180351) - (contains Louve [16])
  9. The Guardian of the Keys ( ISBN   9781849180504) - (contains La Gardienne des Clés [17])
  10. The Sun Sword ( ISBN   9781849180573) - (contains L'épée-soleil [18])
  11. The Invisible Fortress ( ISBN   9781849181037) - (contains La Forteresse Invisible [19])
  12. The Brand of the Exiles ( ISBN   9781849181365) - (contains La Marque des Bannis [20])
  13. Ogotai's Crown ( ISBN   9781849181426) - (contains La Couronne d'Ogotaï [21])
  14. Giants ( ISBN   9781849181563) - (Contains Géants [22])
  15. The Cage ( ISBN   9781849181860) - (Contains La Cage [23])
  16. Arachnea ( ISBN   9781849182478) - (Contains Arachnéa [24])
  17. The Blue Plague ( ISBN   9781849182904) - (Contains The Blue Plague [25])
  18. The Kingdom Beneath the Sand ( ISBN   9781849183451) - (Contains The Kingdom Beneath the Sand [26])
  19. The Barbarian ( ISBN   9781849183994) - (Contains The Barbarian [27])
  20. Kriss of Valnor ( ISBN   9781849184229) - (Contains Kriss de Valnor [28])
  21. The Sacrifice ( ISBN   9781849184267) - (Contains Le Sacrifice [29])
  22. I, Jolan ( ISBN   9791032807309) - (Contains Moi, Jolan [30])
  23. Thor's Shield ( ISBN   9791032807835) - (Contains Le Bouclier de Thor [31])
  24. The Battle of Asgard - (Contains La Bataille D'Asgard [32])
  25. The Blade Ship - (Contains Le Bateau Sabre [33])
  26. Kah-Aniel - (Contains Kah-Aniel [34])
  27. The Scarlet Fire - (Contains Le Feu écarlate [35])
  28. Aniel - (Contains Aniel [36])
  29. The Hermit of Skellingar - (Contains L'Ermite de Skellingar [37])
  30. The Selkie - (Contains La Selkie [38])
  31. Neokora - (Contains Neokóra [39])

Other media

In 2002 Le Lombard published a video game for Microsoft Windows, entitled Thorgal: Curse of Atlantis and developed by Cryo Interactive Entertainment.

In 2016 there is announced that the comic is going to be a series directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. [8] In 2018 von Donnersmarck said that the project is "at the top of his list". [9]

Related Research Articles

<i>Völuspá</i> Poem from the Poetic Edda

Vǫluspá is the best known poem of the Poetic Edda. It tells the story of the creation of the world and its coming end and subsequent rebirth, related to the audience by a völva addressing Odin. It is one of the most important primary sources for the study of Norse mythology. The poem is preserved whole in the Codex Regius and Hauksbók manuscripts while parts of it are quoted in the Prose Edda.

Raoul Vaneigem is a Belgian writer known for his 1967 book The Revolution of Everyday Life.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jean Van Hamme</span> Belgian novelist and comic book writer (born 1939)

Jean, knight Van Hamme is a Belgian novelist and comic book writer. He has written scripts for a number of Belgian/French comic series, including Histoire sans héros, Thorgal, XIII and Largo Winch.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Grzegorz Rosiński</span> Polish comic book artist

Grzegorz Rosiński is a Polish comic book artist. He is best known for providing the artwork for the series Thorgal.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Asgard (comics)</span> Fictional realm in the Marvel Comics universe

Asgard is a fictional realm and its capital city appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Based on the realm of the same name from Germanic mythology, Asgard is home to the Asgardians and other beings adapted from Norse mythology. Asgard first appeared in Journey into Mystery #85 by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby, and features prominently in stories that follow the Marvel Comics superhero Thor, who appeared two issues earlier.

<i>Yoko Tsuno</i> Science fiction comic album series by Roger Leloup

Yoko Tsuno is a comics album series created by the Belgian writer Roger Leloup published by Dupuis in Spirou magazine since its debut in 1970. Through twenty-nine volumes, the series tell the adventures of Yoko Tsuno, a female electrical engineer of Japanese origin surrounded by her close friends, Vic Video and Pol Pitron. Their adventures bring them to, among other places, Belgium (Bruges), Germany, Scotland, Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia and also into outer space. The stories are heavily technology driven, with concepts like robot dragons, suspended animation, time travel, and even an alien species called the Vineans. Despite the often exotic settings and science-fiction plot lines, the stories generally remain realistic on the personal level between the characters and friendship, love and spirituality are some of the key themes of the series. The art is drawn in Ligne claire style, although having originally started out in the Marcinelle style. When depicting real-world settings, Leloup aspires to be as true to reality as possible, with places like Burg Katz or Rothenburg ob der Tauber depicted with almost photographic skill.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Selkie</span> Mythological creature

In Celtic and Norse mythology, selkies or selkie folk meaning 'seal folk' are mythological beings capable of therianthropy, changing from seal to human form by shedding their skin. They are found in folktales and mythology originating from the Northern Isles of Scotland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Charles Vess</span> American fantasy and comics artist

Charles Vess is an American fantasy artist and comics artist who has specialized in the illustration of myths and fairy tales. His influences include British "Golden Age" book illustrator Arthur Rackham, Czech Art Nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha, and comic-strip artist Hal Foster, among others. Vess has won several awards for his illustrations. Vess' studio, Green Man Press, is located in Abingdon, VA.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Angela (character)</span> Fictional, as opposed to real life, superhero

Angela is a fictional superhero created by author Neil Gaiman and artist Todd McFarlane. She first appeared in McFarlane's creator-owned series Spawn, making her debut in issue #9 in March 1993, and later starring in her own self-titled miniseries. She is an angel and a bounty hunter, working under the auspices of Heaven to oppose Spawn.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry</span> Traditional song

"The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry" or "The Grey Selkie of Sule Skerry" is a traditional folk song from Shetland and Orkney. A woman has her child taken away by its father, the great selkie of Sule Skerry which can transform from a seal into a human. The woman is fated to marry a gunner who will harpoon the selkie and their son.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The Island of Frozen Seas</span>

The Island of Frozen Seas is the second album of Thorgal, a European comic book series, written by a Belgian writer Jean Van Hamme and the Polish graphic artist Grzegorz Rosiński. It was first published in 1980 by Le Lombard under the title L'lle des Mers Gelees. It continues the story characters of Thorgal Aegirsson, Aaricia, Gandalf the Mad, and Slivia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yves Sente</span> Belgian comics writer

Yves Sente is a Belgian comic book editor and author. He is known as a writer for XIII, Blake and Mortimer and Thorgal.

<i>Thorgal: Curse of Atlantis</i> 2002 video game

Thorgal: Curse of Atlantis, known in Europe as Thorgal: Odin's Curse, is a point-and-click adventure game developed by Cryo Interactive Entertainment and published by Le Lombard in 2002.

<i>Astérix et ses Amis</i>

Astérix et ses amis is a tribute volume published in 2007 by Les Editions Albert René. The full original title is Astérix et ses Amis – Hommage à Albert Uderzo. It was released to pay tribute to Albert Uderzo, for his 80th birthday. Not part of the original Asterix series, it is made up of several short stories drawn and written by various renowned comics artists.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Marie-Pierre Arthur</span> Musical artist

Marie-Pierre Arthur is the stage name of Marie-Pierre Fournier, a Canadian pop singer-songwriter from Quebec. Originally from Grande-Vallée, she is currently based in Montreal.

Claudine Douville is a Québécoise sports journalist, amateur athlete and author of adventure novels.

Nathalie Ronvaux is a Luxembourg poet and playwright who writes in French. For her poetry collection Vignes et louves she received the Servais Encouragement Prize in 2011. In 2013 she won first prize in Luxembourg's National Literary Contest for her play La Vérité m'appartient which was first performed in January 2016.

<i>Hans</i> (comic book) Franco-Beglian comic book series

Hans is a science fiction Franco-Belgian comic with the story written by the Belgian writer André-Paul Duchâteau and drawn by Polish artists Grzegorz Rosiński and later by Zbigniew Kasprzak (Kas). It was published from 1980 to 2000 and has been collected in twelve volumes published in France by Le Lombard. It has also been translated into Polish, German, Italian, and Greek.

<i>Chninkel</i> Franco-Belgian comic book

Chninkel or The Great Power of Chninkel is a Franco-Belgian comic with the story written by the Belgian writer Jean Van Hamme and the art drawn by the Polish artist Grzegorz Rosiński. First published from 1986 to 1987 in black and white, and later republished in color and translated to several languages, it mixes the genres of fantasy, science fiction and Biblical parables. It follows the adventures of a diminutive humanoid J'on, who suddenly finds himself tasked with saving the world. It has been called one of the first graphic novels in the history of Franco-Belgian comics.


  1. 1 2 3 Gaumer, Patrick (1997). Dictionnaire mondial de la BD (in French). [Paris]: Larousse. pp. 614–615. ISBN   203750019X. OCLC   851086497.
  2. Chabannes, Jean-Sébastien (June 9, 2014). "Grzegorz Rosinski ("Thorgal") : « On pourrait faire quelque chose avec le Chninkel. »". ActuaBD (in French). Retrieved 2022-06-23.
  3. "Les ventes - Thorgal". Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  4. 1 2 Rothschild, D. Aviva (1995). Graphic Novels: A Bibliographic Guide to Book-length Comics. Libraries Unlimited. pp. 56–57. ISBN   978-1-56308-086-9.
  5. 1 2 3 "Thorgal - ComicWiki" (in Danish). Retrieved 2014-02-24.
  6. Miaśkiewicz, Waldemar (2007). "Rola pierwszych żon (A review of I, Jolan)". Nowa Fantastyka (in Polish). No. 12. p. 76.
  7. Thorgal at Cinebook
  8. Roxborough, Scott (2016-10-20). "'Lives of Others' Director to Adapt Fantasy Comic 'Thorgal' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2021-08-23.
  9. Meza, Ed (2018-09-02). "Henckel von Donnersmarck Puts 'Thorgal' TV Series at Top of His List". Variety. Retrieved 2021-08-23.